Why C-Suite should care about Kubernetes-compatible software

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Kubernetes technology is complex, but it’s worth taking the time to understand it given its potential to help automate application deployment, accelerate scalability, enhance security, and add value to software-based systems. the cloud. Open source technology facilitates containerization, a must-have approach to cloud computing that makes it easier to configure systems, increases reliability, enables faster deployment of software, and improves the efficient use of compute resources.

Gartner has predicted that by 2023, 70% of global organizations will run more than two containerized applications, up from just 20% in 2019. And that puts Kubernetes at the forefront of enterprise software development. As a means of orchestrating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, Kubernetes offers real advantages over other methods of provisioning software such as virtual machines.

When Kubernetes is integrated into the enterprise technology stack, it opens the door to new essential gains in productivity and profit margins.

Lift the cover

In a recent study from VMware, 95% of participants realized the benefits of Kubernetes, of which 56% said they saw an improvement in resource utilization. This means reduced spending on private or public cloud compute resources that typically host business applications. Another 33% of those surveyed said Kubernetes offered lower public cloud costs. But how?

Let’s take a look at one of the most common ways to provision software: virtual machines. Each virtual machine will include a copy of the software it provisions, a guest Operating system and hypervisor to allocate computing resources between different operating systems and applications. All of these different components consume system resources. And virtual machines are relatively static, as it is difficult to move them between on-premises servers, private clouds, or the public cloud.

A containerized software application runs on an external operating system, eliminating the amount of compute resources required to run multiple guest operating systems. In many situations, an enterprise may be able to run multiple containerized applications on server resources that previously could only accommodate a single application. The container has central tools to manage how applications use server resources, which, along with the fact that there are no longer multiple operating systems to manage, reduces administrative overhead.

And here’s the icing on the cake: Containerized apps with Kubernetes also start faster than those on a virtual machine – in milliseconds rather than minutes.

Take the fast lane

According to the VMware study, 53% of respondents said Kubernetes enables faster software development cycles. If Kubernetes is integrated with an enterprise software platform, vendors can accelerate the pace of bringing new software features and capabilities to market and into the hands of customers. In turn, companies can themselves quickly adapt to changes in the market and regulatory environment, and even turn that agility into a competitive advantage, beating their competitors in the market or correcting the price faster than the market. ‘they cannot.

But enterprise IT experts also like the fact that Kubernetes enables rapid network scaling. This is essential because, as we have seen in 2020, business becomes less predictable and rapid changes in demand for products or services can often be constrained by limited compute resources of the enterprise architecture that cannot cannot scale fast enough. This can amount to a loss of business, a bad customer experience, or even a business failure.

Today more than ever, businesses must constantly change or reset processes and requirements. Gone are the days when a company could deploy an ERP or other enterprise technology and “set it up and forget it” for years. Now, the divisions acquired, changing customer demands, dynamic go-to-market strategies and the introduction of disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality / virtual (ARVR), all of this means the business stack needs to be updated more and more regularly.

The cloud becomes a business choice

Meanwhile, the inexorable migration of business systems to the cloud continues. In 2019, IFS conducted a survey of 600 business decision makers around the world to assess progress and cloud migration strategies. When we compared this data with data from a similar IFS study in 2012, the percentage of companies now relying on various forms of cloud-based enterprise software provisioning almost doubled, while the percentage of companies with on-premise solutions almost halved.

But in a cloud-centric environment, executives still recognize that there are certain scenarios that favor on-premises deployment or even need to be moved between public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises. Or, an on-premises or private cloud application may need to seamlessly use compute resources in a public cloud to handle peak or hockey stick demand. Apps built with Kubernetes make this easier.

Kubernetes can also help orchestrate containerization in a multitude of environments, including software hosting in a vendor’s cloud, self-hosted by an enterprise, or in a hybrid environment where the main application stack is self. -hosted, but where several application services are accessible. as cloud services managed by the software vendor. The hybrid option allows companies to offload some of the complexity of the deployment.

This means that functions that could be better closed, rather than placed in a public or even private cloud due to regulatory or practical considerations, can be performed on-premises or where it is most convenient for the customer. This software instance can be supplemented with services from the software vendor ranging from reports, optimization engines, cognitive services, etc.

Courtesy of Kubernetes, different parts of the app can be run from separate servers – on-premises, private cloud, public cloud – all depending on what makes sense to the end user.

Safety must be in the DNA

To ensure key security provisions are met as things change, Kubernetes should be used in the software stack as a container orchestration tool. Why? Because one of the benefits of containerization is the ability to quickly bring new software into production, which enables rapid change and digital transformation.

But as every CIO knows, with each new deployment, security concerns immediately raise their cyber heads. Which external device or system is allowed to access the software? Which users are authorized to view and interact with which data? Which roles in the organization have which access permissions?

All of these rules and policies should be applied as the application changes. This degree of management is easier if security is addressed early in the software development process, which means there are security benefits if Kubernetes and containerization are delivered as part of a software application. packaged.

More advanced enterprise software applications will increasingly own the process of orchestrating Kubernetes containers in a way that automatically respects the security and permissions reflected in the application as a whole. Enterprise applications will provide software services in the form of Docker containers, orchestrated by Kubernetes. This will provide the scaling benefits of having regional Kubernetes clusters serving multiple customers, and the software vendor will ensure that the application maintains complete separation and privacy of customer solutions through the use of customer solutions. Customer-specific Kubernetes namespaces, network separation, encryption, and DB instances.

Enterprise software vendors who do not intend to sell their own proprietary technology can use packaged Kubernetes environments such as Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service in their technology stack.

As business software becomes more cloud native and businesses need to regularly change their processes, Kubernetes-enabled business software makes more and more sense. Members of the C suite responsible for the sustainability of business operations should not ignore the potential of Kubernetes as a tool to ensure that their software infrastructure and business is scalable, secure and flexible enough to adapt to anything. market change or new opportunities.– now and in the future.

[1] Gartner, 3 Critical Mistakes I&O Leaders Should Avoid With Containers, August 2, 2019


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